What is the Circular Fashion Commitment and why is it so important?

23 January 2018
By Fashion Quarterly


The latest fashion agreement is another step towards saving the environment’s future.

We love beautiful new fashion (and frequently) but we also love our Mother Earth.

And it is with that thought that we understand that concise steps need to be adhered to within the fashion industry to ensure we’re held accountable in protecting and sustaining our environment.

The announcement of Global Fashion Agenda’s (GFA) 2020 Circular Fashion Commitment promises to do just this as it heralds a new wave of momentum towards making fashion a more ethical and environmentally-friendly industry.

64 international fast fashion companies and high-end designers have joined the commitment by promising to uphold key sustainable themes around garment design and manufacture including garment collection, re-purposing and the use of recycled textiles.

Zara, ASOS, Reformation and luxury conglomerate Kering – who house labels like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga – are among the many brands.

By signing this agreement, brands like Adidas are committing to a process of circular fashion, a concept that means all garments – including shoes and accessories – are made with a lifespan that benefits the environment from day one of creation right through to disposal.

Furthermore, each company has set their own environmental targets for 2020. Adidas will collect used garments while ASOS has committed to training their design teams to work within the circular fashion method and move away from using non-recyclable materials. H&M will provide money for research towards textile recycling and will increase the volume of used clothing collection by 25,000.

While the environmental targets vary across companies, CEO of GFA Eva Kruse says, “all [companies] share a common feature by taking steps to transition to a circular fashion industry. I find that very encouraging.”

A progress report will also be published outlining the activities each fashion brand has made towards sustainability and how they are tracking against their targets. May 2018 has been set as the release date for the first report and we’re eager to examine the progress.

Closer to home, Tearfund and Baptist World Aid release their annual Ethical Fashion Report which outlines the practices of New Zealand brands and ranks them according to their ethics. Worth keeping up to date with, this report allows you to see the improvements made by our own companies towards a more ethical and sustainable future.

Click here to view the full 2020 Circular Fashion Commitment.

Photos: Instagram

Watch Kowtow’s ethical manufacturing process:

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